Cafe La Pause's tea service. (Photo: Bryan Baier)

La Pause Cafe of the Forest

A classy western style cafe with bi-lingual service

Cafe La Pause's tea service. (Photo: Bryan Baier)
Bryan Baier   - 3 min read

"Have you ever had Mont St. Michel omelets?" Last waiter asked me as he put a giant omelet on the table in front of me. "They're extremely airy and fluffy like a soufflé." The plate was taken away and a manageable slice of the omelet was brought back. If an omelet more fluffy and delicious than that one can be prepared, I hope I'm not the one footing the bill.

La Pause Cafe Shinomiya

The stylish and classy Half Time Hotel and Restaurant Group has opened a new cafe and restaurant in Nara! The company specializes in the highest quality Chinese cuisine at its Tokokuro Restaurants, bakery pastries, cafe drinks and snacks at its La Pause Café bakeries and cafes, and delicious Japanese-western fusion food at its Nara National Museum Restaurant.

Surrounded by a garden and built from locally sourced cedar and cypress trees, the new La Pause Cafe Shinomiya fits its surroundings so well one would be forgiven for thinking it had been there for much longer. Inside, colorful sitting chairs that would be at home in any living room or library, Andy Warhol prints and water color paintings (painted by the restaurant owners themselves), wood trim, and lighting with fun modern decoration contribute to a warm and bright atmosphere. Floor to ceiling windows and French doors give diners a great view of the garden and provide an abundance of natural light. The large dining room, usually reserved for large groups and parties, has a window looking into the kitchen to allow diners to see the quality and care that goes into every dish.
The owners and staff of the new cafe pulled out every last stop for the December 11th Pre-opening Introduction event and dishes like the savory and well-balanced cauliflower mousse (prepared with cauliflower, cream and onions and topped with chicken broth, sliced scallop and fish roe), the Mont St. Michel omelet (the airiest and most well-dressed I've ever eaten), and earl gray chocolate mousse cake with orange jam demonstrated the delicious creativity of La Pause Cafe's chefs. The service provided by the wait staff is second to none, and the menu is bi-lingual. Some of the staff members also speak very good English making the new La Pause Cafe the perfect place to take a pause after exploring the sights and sounds of Nara.

Getting There

The new La Pause Cafe Shinomiya is just across the street from Kintetsu Shinomiya Station just one stop (and ¥150) down from Nara Park. Go out the exit, go to the north side of the railroad crossing and cross the 4-lane road. The cafe is opposite a bicycle parking area and the train tracks.

Bryan Baier

Bryan Baier @bryan.baier

13 years of exploring, doing all I can do and sharing that knowledge with the world.